Monday, July 01, 2013

Ex-Coach's Stock Rides with Matt Kemp

Former Dodgers hitting coach Jeff Pentland -- whose personal stock remains low after he was fired by the team in 2011 -- returned to Arizona from Los Angeles over the weekend with his accomplishments still in question as prized pupil Matt Kemp continues to struggle.

Kemp,  who had been working with Pentland for more than a month,  hasn't done much since the slugger returned from Albuquerque and a rehabilitation assignment with the Triple A Isotopes. When he went on the injured list April 30,  Kemp was hitting only .251 with two home runs.  Since his return,  he's hitting only .214 with no homers and a slugging average of just .286.

Though Pentland's resume includes considerable accomplishments after working with such luminaries as Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Gary Sheffield,  he's making no promises about Kemp rediscovering his once prodigeous power and 40-homer potential.

"Will he hit a lot of home runs?  I can't answer that,"  the 66-year-old veteran told the Los Angeles Times before returning home to Mesa where he hopes to play Kemp's recovery into another full-time major league coaching gig.

The problem is, Kemp has yet to recover,  and the jubilation at Chavez Revine has a premature tone.